Have you ever ask yourself about how a blind person can use his/her social media? Or how someone that is paralyzed from the neck down can buy his/her Christmas presents online?
In the 90s, the United States Congress passed the Disabilities Act or known as ADA. This institution mandates public and private spaces to be accessible to people with disabilities.
For example, ADA requires on-ramps as alternative access for people with a wheelchair. Although the ADA is forcing public and private companies to implement accessibility in digital medias such as websites and mobile apps, in that case, you should know the meaning of accessibility and more questions about this topic.
What is accessibility?
“Accessibility focuses on how a disabled person accesses or benefits from a site, system, or application. Accessibility is an important part of designing your site and the development process. Section 508 is the governing principle, and it requires that all government information be accessible to disabled users.” usability.gov
Just think about it: when you watch Netflix or a video on YouTube, or just a simple search in Google, you are using accessibility in different ways. There are some technologies created first for people with disabilities that you use every day, like switching your iPhone to night mode.
Accessibility is not a petty thing to do; it is an essential right to everyone in this technological world. Even when many companies understand the importance of accessibility, the design area still a significant and king of cynical challenge for designers. This aspect should be view as an opportunity to challenge their creativity, where designers can elevate their creativity.
What is a disability?
The Centers for Disease Control establishes that “A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).” After reading this definition, you need to see the big picture that you might be living with a disability.
When the time comes, you age, and with that comes the loss of vision and hearing or cognitive disabilities like dementia. It becomes clear that in the long run, accessibility is essential for everyone. Nielsen presents that the percentage of people’s capacity to use websites decreases by 0.8% every day after the age of 25. It means that you are maybe living with digital indifference.
Why is accessibility important?
Accessibility importance is increasing every single day in aspects like education, government, employment, commerce, health care, and more. You must visualize the importance of creating equality since you are losing a vast demographic. Indeed, you should focus on better practices like design, usability, and search engine optimization (SEO). Indeed, ADA sees the Internet growth in the past decade, so they decided to implement strong legal actions.
The Internet’s expansion has brought legal ramifications, where ADA has established new limitations. The U.S Department of Justice states, “[T]he Department has long considered websites to be covered by Title III despite the fact that there are no specific technical requirements for websites currently in the regulation or ADA Standards.” Today, ADA has empowered its action by suing companies that do not have the right accessible specifications declared by ADA.
Taking the whole Markets
At least 80% of the United States population shops online, which is the consequence of the popularity of the Internet.
For people with physical impairments, what before was an impediment now is an opportunity for independence. However, people with visual and hearing issues online shopping can be inconvenient for the lack of digital accessibility in many websites and mobile apps.
Digital accessibility is creating a huge job market. Many businesses are recognizing that they need people with the right knowledge about accessibility. If you search on LinkedIn or Indeed, you can see the enormous amount of job posts for web developers, designers, and UI designers linked to digital accessibility.
Glajumedia understands and knows about how digital accessibility has become essential for any business. Just get in contact with us for more information.